To dedicate one’s life to art is a struggle even in the most stable society. There are inherent barriers that weed out those who aren’t serious. Those who remain are truly passionate and dedicated to an artistic and creative life. But, in times of upheaval, extreme chaos and war, even the most dedicated artist can be stifled by the immediate concerns of his or her life. Those who continue to produce despite the horror that surrounds them can truly be called an Artist
Unfortunately, artists are the first group to be abandoned in times of trouble. Art is seen as a luxury when starvation, misery and murder are the norm. A fundamental tenet is that art and artists are not a luxury, but are in fact the foundation of society. Art is essential to the survival of culture. It is the very medium of culture. If culture is the foundation of society, then how important the artist?
The role of artists becomes even more critical during times of social upheaval. Unfortunately, support for the arts disappears in these periods, and artists are marginalized. Iraqi Art strives to move the artist from the margins to the centre, to shine a light into the shadows, to give voice to those who have been muted.